Roger T. Creager Argues Appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia

On April 16, 2014, Roger T. Creager presented oral argument to the Supreme Court of Virginia in favor of an appeal regarding Harman, Administratrix, etc., et al. v. Honeywell International, Inc. (Rec. No. 130627).  Mr. Creager was retained to appeal to the Supreme Court after a jury trial in Chesterfield County resulted in a defense verdict.  The case involves a 2008 airplane crash in Chesterfield County in which a father and son were both killed.  After the adverse jury verdict was rendered at trial, John C. Shea (a past President of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association) and Gary C. Robb (a nationally-recognized airplane crash litigator from Kansas City), asked Mr. Creager to become involved in the case to seek a new trial.  Mr. Creager petitioned the Supreme Court to consider whether to grant a new trial on the basis that five specific rulings of the trial court were erroneous and prejudicial.  Based upon Mr. Creager’s Petition for Appeal and oral argument to a three-Justice panel of the Supreme Court, on December 13, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal based upon all five errors assigned by Mr. Creager.  Following the submission of additional briefing, the full Court heard oral argument on April 16, 2014.  To listen to Mr. Creager’s oral argument and the questions posed by the Supreme Court, click here A decision is expected in early June of 2014.

Creager co-authors appellate brief successfully defending Virginia $10 million verdict

Leading Virginia brain-injury litigation attorneys Stephen M. Smith, Carlton T. Bennett, and Edward E. Scher retained Roger T.  Creager several months ago to serve with them as co-counsel on appeal of a $10 million jury verdict and judgment that Smith, Bennett, and Scher won in August of 2008 in the Circuit Court of the City of Norfolk.  Creager and this team of outstanding lawyers authored a Brief in Opposition to the defendant trucking company’s Petition for Appeal.  The Brief in Opposition to the appeal argued that many of the issues raised by the trucking company had not been properly raised and preserved in the trial court, and all the arguments on appeal lacked merit in any event.  Oral argument on the Petition for Appeal was presented to a Writ Panel on February 11, 2009.  On February 20, 2009, the Virginia Supreme Court denied the Petition for Appeal, and thereby allowed the full $10 million verdict and judgment to stand. 

Appeals and post-judgment motions–principles of finality

Roger T. Creager recently spoke at the Virginia State Bar Appellate Advocacy Summit regarding appeals and post-judgment motions, and how they are affected by principles of finality under Virginia law.  His presentation was titled, Some Principles of Finality.

Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court Addressing Discovery of Electronically-Stored Information

For the past two years, Roger T. Creager has served as Chair of the Boyd-Graves Conference Subcommittee Regarding Discovery of Electronically-Stored Information.  Proposed changes to the Rules of the Virginia Supreme Court which specifically address discovery of electronically-stored information are currently pending for consideration by the Supreme Court of Virginia. 

The Court is expected to consider the proposed changes at its next business meeting in September 2008 or thereafter in the Fall 2008.  A summary of the status of the proposed changes has been prepared by Mr. Creager together with Exhibit A thereto, which contains the language of the proposed changes as they stood in October 2007 as promulgated by the Virginia Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Rules of Court.  The proposed changes have been further revised since October 2007, and those further revisions are indicated in the summary prepared by Mr. Creager.

The ‘Peer Review Privilege’ Should Not Shelter Hospital Policies and Procedures From Discovery

Roger T. Creager has published an article entitled, “The ‘Peer Review Privilege’ Should Not Shelter Hospital Policies and Procedures From Discovery,” in the Spring 2008 issue of the Virginia State Bar’s Litigation News.

In medical malpractice actions, doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers frequently argue that even though they were governed by written medical protocols, policies, and procedures when they provided services, the lawyers for persons injured as a result of their medical malpractice should be denied access to those protocols, policies, and procedures.  This argument is especially unfair since the lawyers for the doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers have full access to those protocols, policies, and procedures. 

Mr. Creager’s new article provides an in-depth study of this issue.  He writes:  “This article argues that the courts that have applied the statutory privilege to insulate hospital polices and procedures from discovery should reconsider their holdings in view of the flawed and incomplete reasoning of the case law applying the privilege and also because of more recent Virginia Supreme Court authority and legislative developments.”  His article cites extensive legal authorities on the subject. 

Creager Presents at Appellate Advocacy Summit

The Virginia State Bar Appellate Law Section invited Roger T. Creager to make a presentation at its Appellate Advocacy Summit on August 28, 2008.  Mr. Creager will address the topic of when a trial court order or judgment becomes final for purposes of triggering the deadlines for making post-trial motions and noting an appeal.

Creager to Speak at 2008 Brain Injury Law Retreat

The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association invited Roger T. Creager to speak at its 2008 Brain Injury Law Retreat on September 27, 2008.  My Creager will speak on the topic of excluding defense evidence asserting that the plaintiff is allegedly faking or feigning his or her cognitive limitations and impairments and is “malingering.”

Roger T. Creager Steps Down as Chair of the Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics

In June 2008, Roger T. Creager stepped down as Chair of the Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics after completing six years of continuous service on that Committee.  In 2002, the President of the Virginia State Bar, Bernard J. DiMuro, appointed Mr. Creager to serve on the Committee and he served for two three-year terms. During Mr. Creager’s tenure, the Committee issued numerous published legal ethics opinions on issues of importance to Virginia lawyers.  The Committee also conducted an intensive study of the ethical standards governing use of undisclosed recordings and recommended changes on this subject matter to the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. Those recommended changes were published statewide for comment, and were then unanimously approved by the Council of the Virginia State Bar.  At the request of the Virginia Supreme Court, the changes were published a second time for comment, and were once again approved by the Council in a nearly unanimous second vote.  The proposed changes are pending before the Supreme Court of Virginia.    

Roger T. Creager Chairs Boyd-Graves Conference Subcommittee

In June and July 2008, Roger T. Creager served as Chair of the Boyd-Graves Conference subcommittee studying the discovery of electronically stored information in Virginia civil litigation.  Mr. Creager will give the report of the Subcommittee to the Boyd-Graves Conference at its meeting in October of 2008.  

The Boyd-Graves Conference is an organization of over 100 judges, legislators, and leading civil litigation attorneys from throughout Virginia that studies ways to improve civil litigation practice and procedures in Virginia.  Mr. Creager has served on the Boyd-Graves Conference continuously since 2002. 

This year’s Conference meeting will be held in Staunton, Virginia at the historic Stonewall-Jackson Hotel.  

Roger T. Creager Speaks for Tort Seminar of the Virginia Trial Association

In May 2008, Roger T. Creager served as a speaker for the May Tort Seminar of the Virginia Trial Association.  Mr. Creager addressed some of the leading Virginia Supreme Court decisions of greatest importance to personal injury lawyers in Virginia.